Not too impressed by DDNR, will I like another VA/VaPer

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thomasmartin

Senior Member
Jul 13, 2015
324
0
Unesco world heritage
Usually I smoke English/Balkan blends with various percentages of Latakia (usually the more the better). Today I tried Dunhill De Luxe Navy Rolls just because I wanted some change. Must say I'm not too impressed. I mean it's not bad but the aroma is rather underwhelming. There's some fruit, hay and nuts but also quite an unpleasant bitterness (yes I smoke it in a small prince and veeeeery slowly). DDNR being regarded by many as kind of a reference VaPer I ask myself if it is worth to try different blends if that category or if I just should stick to Latakia dominated blends. Ten years back, before my long break from pipe smoking I remember having liked Hal O' The Wynd, Old Gowrie, Dunhill (light) flake very much (and I hated Erinmore) but I guess my taste may have evolved. What do you think? Shall I close this door (and save me some money) or explore this a little bit further?

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
Jar it up and come back to it latter. I like things that I used to hate and vica versa. However, you may never like it. Who knows?

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,413
3
Many see Escudo as the benchmark VaPer, and I was completely underwhelmed by it. I have tried other VaPers, and liked them a lot more. I would say keep trying, but then again, I'm from the "so many to try, so little time" school. I would second Cosmic on the jarring and re-trying thing. (No, it hasn't worked on Escudo for me yet, but I'm not giving up!)

 

thomasmartin

Senior Member
Jul 13, 2015
324
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Unesco world heritage
Oh I won't trash it and sure give it another try later. In fact, halfway trough the bowl the stuff begins already to grow on me (accompanied by some throat tickle). And yes, some folks say Escudo and DDNR are close (or the same) yet you like different blends. May retry them Rattrays then.

 

dustmite

Member
Mar 5, 2015
263
0
I like Escudo, but I prefer PS Luxury Bullseye Flake. The cavendish center seems to add a bit of depth for me. I would try some other blends before you write off the whole category.

 

pruss

Preferred Member
Feb 6, 2013
3,427
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Mytown
You could consider stepping into a more complex blend like Haddo's or HU Tobbaco's Director's cut. The addition of burley and other leaves and/or topping might give you what you want.
That said, how did you prepare it? I was struggling with Solani 633 a while back when Harris walked me through how to prep a flake his way... this made all the difference to me. Here were his instructions, "Pack tighter, make sure you have some good resistance before lighting up. Cube cut the flakes, smoke it in a pipe that has a bowl width of no greater than .80. Try a pipe that is a group 4 or small 5, a Billiard, Dublin, Rhodesian, or Apple." I should add that when I prep a cube cut now I add the cubes in three stages and end up with a draw which is tight like drinking a milkshake through a straw.
This has helped me get more good smokes out of VaPers and their ilk.
Good luck,
-- Pat

 

pruss

Preferred Member
Feb 6, 2013
3,427
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Mytown
I rubbed it and let it dry some. Then packed and dried some more. It burns pas mal.
I find the difference between a rubbed out, fold and stuffed and cube cut bowl to be wildly different. If you have the 'baccy, it might be worth messing with preparation.
$0.05 in the bucket.
-- Pat

 

blueeyedogre

Preferred Member
Oct 17, 2013
1,540
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I tend to be a Perique hound as of late and I was fairly unimpressed when I first tried Escudo while I loved McClelland Beacon Extra. Now about 6 months later I enjoy Escudo but prefer DDNR over it and I add Perique to most of my homemade blends. Give it a chance and it might grow on you. Today at lunch I had a bowl of DDNR in a Chacom Zulu and it was most enjoyable. Pruss hit the nail on the head about prepping thought. There will be a big difference in taste based on how it's prepped, a rubbed out flake of DDNR will taste differently then a fold-n-stuff flake.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,378
104
Chicago, IL
IMO, the less you smoke Latakia, the more your palate will warm up to Vas and VaPers.

After discovering the subtleties of the various VaPers, I won't touch Latakia anymore.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
Ding ding ^^^ I think Cortez gets a cigar!! or at least a cigar blend.

There may be something to that.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,413
3
I was just thinking he's on to something, too. I smoke a lot of Lat blends; perhaps that's why the subtleties of Escudo have given me the slip so far. Although, I still pick up the subtle woody/nutty flavors in Carter Hall, which some people can't discern at all. I do know if I smoke a Lat blend, the rest of the day is ruined for anything less robust.

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
1,954
5
It's possible the flakes weren't very old. What's the date on the tin?
If it was more than two years old then the flakes should be just about ideal.

Compared to a strong English blend a good VaPer might seem subtle.

St. James Flake was revolutionary for me because all the other blends I tried up to that point were dried up aromatics, fresh Virginia, straight Burley and Peterson Irish Flake.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
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I start the day with a light aro like Erinmore, then Astleys 109, then on to VaPers, finishing with a stronger latakia or a burley based strong blend to set my brain right for bed. If I smoke a lat blend earlier in the day, I tend to not enjoy anything but spicier, stronger blends for the rest of the day. YMMV

 

pipebuddy

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2015
502
6
Try GL Pease Fillmore (a full Red VA & Périque) or Cairo (with some ORs and a touch of Périque). There's also Dunhill's Elizabethan Mixture.
Or try C & D Kajun Kake. That's also a winner in my book.

 

lochinvar

Preferred Member
Oct 22, 2013
1,301
3
Try the fold and stuff on the Navy Rolls. If a tobacco comes in flake/coin form, I prefer to leave it whole to control the burn, and I find the flavor is more complex than when rubbed out. Also I prefer a taller bowl than a prince, usually a bulldog.
Try some different VaPer's and see if you like them better. i know DNR and Escudo are supposed to be the same but I always get more pepper with DNR than Escudo....and usually Escudo is cheaper. Also try Gawith St. James, it's a great VaPer I fond myself reaching for more and more.

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
1,954
5
I actually haven't found a Red Virginia that I liked yet, and I think I've tried three or four of them (5100, Fillmore, Nording Beagle). The dominant flavour usually seems to be "starch", like eating cornmeal (especially 5100). Not quite what I'm looking for in tobacco.

I am still saving a few jars to try again in five years or so (starting with flavour like that I figure it needs extra time).

On the plus side, if starch is the component being transformed into sweet flavour, as is normally the case in food, then I should be stocking up on Red VA. I just haven't experienced anything to confirm my suspicions.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
There is no rule saying that you have to like it. Heck, I'd rather be splashed with boiling oil than smoke most of Sutliff's offering. :wink:

There's only a thousand + other blends to smoke.

 

sothron

Preferred Member
Sep 20, 2011
3,734
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If you're looking for a more robust VaPer, try GL Pease Fillmore and Low Country Waccamaw.
*As for not liking Escudo, I think that's some kind of taste defect ;)